Iran’s Political Culture


Iran has two political cultures.  Iran’s first political culture is pre – Islamic area and begins with Cyrus the Great who is a first founder of Human Rights. The above claim is verifiable by checking the United Nations that Cyrus the Great advocated rights of people to freedom of speeches, thoughts, and religions. Moreover, there are historical facts that Greek called Cyrus the Great lawgiver, and Jewish called him anointed one by God. There are some historian scholars who claim that he did not adhere to any faith. However, there are some scholars that they claim he was a Zoroastrian.  It can be said about, Cyrus the Great as a master politician who expanded Iran’s western frontier from Persepolis to North Africa and eastern frontier to China’s border, and established Achaemenian Dynasty. The above historical epoch is fundamental in a fashion Iranians think about Iran and themselves. When an Iranian person is trying to get attention of others, s/he would use Cyrus the Great as a starting point. For example, Shirin Ebadi, during her acceptance speech of Noble Peace Prize, she made some positive remark to Cyrus the Great as a way to appeal to public sentiment. There were two other Persian dynasties that they are source of pride and joy for Iranians, and those dynasties are contributing to historical discussion of Zoroastrian faith and Mithraism faith. Most importantly, how these Empires prevented Roman Empire to encroach on Iranian land.

In Seventh Century, Arabs from Saudi Arabia invaded Iran and took about ten years or more to conquer Iran and Iranians were converted from other faiths to faith of Islam. Today, in India there is a Zoroastrian community that their lineage goes back to Iran.

The above historical accounts are shaping Iranian minds as a resisters against in – coming forces. Particularity, there is a historical account of Saint Hussein that he revolted against establishment of his time, who was ground son of prophet Muhammad. He had seventy – two followers at the time of battle and prior to war, he knew that he would die, but went to the battle field knowingly that he would not come out of the war alive. He died for injustice. The above historical event has shaped Iranian political culture deeply. It was the above historical account that Khomeini used to defeat Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979. Also, the Islamic Republic of Iran used the above historical account to recruit soldiers for Iran and Iraq War and willing to walk on land mines and die for cause of Islam.

As a result, concept of political culture is a strong one, and Iran’s political culture is a defiance one. It is all about resisting an in – coming force due to injustice.


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